The journey from book to film is usually a dangerous path, especially when it's a national bestseller with a very loyal fan base, and it seems that Glee creator Ryan Murphy's attempt at the Liz Gilbert memoir Eat Pray Love took a more than a few missteps. Having a successful career, loyal husband (Billy Crudup), and a suburban home with a picket fence has been the American dream for quite some time, so when author Gilbert (Julia Roberts) throws it all away with a particularly nasty divorce, her story isn't too easy to empathize with.

Gilbert's character declares early on that she needs to travel and make something happen, seeming more like a spoiled college post-grad than a 30 year-old successful author, a her friends are quick to point out. The script comes off as shallow, and sweetheart Julia Roberts appears smug as she sets off on her world tour, heading to Italy, India and Indonesia to, well, eat, pray and love, in that order. But as Gilbert skirts catharsis, the audience is left holding their breath, and like the main character, waiting for something, anything, to happen. Throughout the story, she wallows in self-pity despite being rewarded with an all-expenses-paid year-long vacation (she received an advance from her publisher to document her travels) and meeting a plethora of gorgeous, nice guys.

The film is moderately redeemed in the third part, with Javier Bardem's role as the love. He offers an endearing character, one of the most developed in the film, and provides some much needed comic relief in Gilbert's pretentiously somber tale. While many would find Gilbert's travels to be at least moderately inspirational, I would rather embark on my own journey than spend two and a half hours watching Gilbert set out on hers.

Starring: Julia Roberts, Javier Bardem, James Franco, Billy Crudup, Viola Davis
Directed by: Ryan Murphy
Distributor: Sony/Columbia
Running Time: 133 minutes
Rated: PG-13

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